Healthy Eating
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How can i get proper help?

I have these unknown health issues that i can't figure out what they are and they are driving me insane for years. I went to the doctor and got a full blood test done and they came back fine. I then told her about my symptoms and half way through telling her she said i have chronic sinusitis. I have chronic sinusitis but theres much more going on then just that i can feel it in my body. She keeps telling me every time i go to her that i look to be really healthy even though i dont. I dont look healthy must of the time around my face but i assume shes saying it just because im slim and not overweight. What do i do to get proper help? Is there anyone online that i can go to for help, i don't care about the price i'd give up all my money to get this sorted. I really am miserable and i'm only 21. I haven't lived my life because of this and now it seems like i'm going to go another few years more without living too.

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Hi, I wonder if you could see a different doctor? I would try and see someone rather than try online. I hope you get things sorted soon

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What do you think is wrong? What signs and symptoms do you have?

It's often true that, if doctors can't find something wrong, they assume there is NOTHING wrong, when it could equally be the case that they're just looking in the wrong places. Just reading between the lines though, it sounds like stress or anxiety might be a factor here. Do you find your symptoms change if, say, you go on holiday?

Figuring this out will help you find the correct person to help you. GPs have to be jack-of-all-trades and have a very limited time to talk to you: it's very hard for them to help, so you need to discover for yourself at least roughly where the problem lies in order to locate an appropriate specialist.

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I must say, I agree, not meaning to offend the OP.

I often find that peeps, who are good at efficient communication get served, much like on the forums. Vague one-liner "thread" gets ignored as nobody understands it. But you have now begun your journey and added my "like" :)

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My face tends to flare up like it's having a constant allergic reaction, like my nose gets slightly bigger, i lose collagen in my skin, i get puffy eyes and dark circles under them. My face gets red sometimes, i seem to start retaining more fat in my face as well. Also i have constant belly fat and waist and breast fat even though i am lean and exercise regularly and have always been athletic. I get cold hands a feet too. I think i might have a leaky gut and some food intolerances, especially histamine intolerance.

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Wow. I'm surprised the doctor dismissed that as normal. What you're describing does sound a lot like an allergy/intolerance or autoimmune issue.

Your best bet is to find an immunologist, who can investigate all the likely possibilities. To be fair to the GP, they literally have three minutes to get you in and out of the office with a prescription. It's a model pretty much guaranteed to produce a lot of unhappy customers (and doctors). If she won't give you a referral, private clinics are very good, but you DO pay through the nose for them - 15 years ago it was about 200 pounds an hour for a consultation and it just goes up from there, depending on what you need done.

To save some money, I would start with a few experiments on yourself. Have you tried eliminating any of the usual suspects - say, bread, dairy, eggs, or seafood? andyswarbs had issues somewhat similar to yours and he swears by a plant-based diet, which might be worth trying at least to see what happens. I know several people (including myself) who have had nagging issues disappear on low-carb high-fat: it's now fairly well accepted that excessively carb-heavy diets can cause a sort of general inflammation - an overenthusiastic and misdirected immune response from your body. Would you say you eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice, or sugary food? Persistent belly fat would certainly be consistent with a diet high in carbs.

Might also be worth seeing an endocrinologist. It's just a random idea, but your cold hands and feet and puffy face might be your adrenal glands misbehaving.

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I would usually eat a lot of carbs but in the last 5 days or so i cut my carbs way down and increased my fat intake by quite a bit. i was also doing intermittent fasting too. Things started off good and my health was picking up but then i started to feel really depleted and pale looking even though i was drinking lots of water (with sea salt in it sometimes too) so i got worried and last night before i wrote the post i had a big bowl of oatmeal and greek yhogurt and my body reacted really badly to it and it confused me. I don't know why i reacted so badly because i've been eating oatmeal and greek yhogurt for years now most days.

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also the fat around my belly reduced when i was on the low carb diet and intermittent fasting but i was also doing hiit which has helped me greatly in the past so i'm not sure which one it was that worked for that.

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If you were doing fine on LCHF and then reacted badly to oatmeal I'd say that's a fairly good indication as to where the problem lies. I doubt it was the yoghurt since you were - presumably - still eating it or similar things as part of your LCHF regimen?

The first few days of a low-carb switchover are often a bit unpleasant. It's totally normal to feel depleted around day 5. Basically it takes you body a bit of time to figure out that it isn't going to get its regular carb hit, and it'll sulk for a bit until it finally decides to switch over to alternative power. For me personally it took 2-3 days to go from that slightly run-down feeling to "back to normal". However I know someone else who spent about a week in that state.

I would give it another go, and just ride through that dip - you will most likely find it's a lot less pronounced this time around. Also cut down on the water (unless you actually feel thirsty). On a low-carb diet the way your body uses sodium changes radically, and you really don't want to be excreting more of it than usual. The standard recommendation is meat broth, which provides potassium as well as sodium. Do make sure you're getting plenty of green vegetables, partly for balanced nutrition but also to help you feel full.

I also noticed my belly fat was the first to go when I did this. I was like, WTF are those weird dents in my belly? Oh right ... it's the fat disappearing.

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Are you on a LCHF diet still? If so, what does your food plan look like? I find it hard to get enough calories in without using some form of carbs like potatoes. I will try it again but it really scared me the last time i done it because of how depleted i looked. My skin collagen look depleted too and i could see wrinkles where i never had any before.

And yeah lol it's good to see the belly fat go. I'l start buying some meat/ bone broth as well as i've read in other places too that it's really good for the gut and is very nutrient-dense. Maybe i was drinking too much water on the low carb diet even though i added sea salt to it it probably still depleted my minerals.

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You're right, one of the biggest challenges with LCHF - and a lot of people just give up on this - is changing your mindset to eating different things such that you've still got a full-looking plate. You think: well, OK, if I can't put a potato there, what can I put there instead? The answer is generally: any other vegetable; something fatty; or nothing at all. Basically this involves increasing your culinary repertoire!

One of the main issues with carb-heavy diets is that the carbs we add to the meal aren't necessary in the absolute sense. That is, there's enough OTHER stuff on the plate to give you the nutrition you need; the carbs literally don't need to be there. This has been verified experimentally - it turns out that, when people are told to eat as much as they like but to avoid starchy foods, their calorie intake naturally falls by almost the exact amount of the carbs they've deleted. In other words, they just don't feel the need to eat those extra calories.

I wouldn't worry too much about the wrinkles because (like the energy dip) they will resolve in time as your body adapts. During LCHF initiation you excrete a lot of water and it will cause your skin to sag a bit (hence the need to keep your mineral intake up), but it's a transient effect that settles down over the course of a week or so. My skin looks fine (no wrinkles unless I scrunch my face up!) and I'm heading for 50.

Anyway, yes, I'm still eating a LCHF diet but I'm in a maintenance phase. My bodyfat is stable at around 13% with roughly 100g carbs per day, but I really don't count carbs at all. I occasionally enjoy a bit of pizza or a burger but basically I can't eat carbs in any quantity now - they make me feel bloated and tired. I eat a LOT of seasonal vegetables (most of my plate is veg) but I also eat several eggs a day, Greek yoghurt, cheese (added to eggs, to salad, or on crackers) and maybe 250g of fatty meat: bacon, sausages, or braised/roasted pork/chicken/beef. I don't really like fat, but because it's very energy-dense it's surprisingly easy to eat enough. 150g of fat sounds like a lot, but when it's packaged up in meat or cheese or cream, it really isn't.

One of the biggest benefits of LCHF for me is something the high-carb advocates insist is impossible: increased endurance and increased mental acuity. I love this, and it really annoys me reading articles stating authoritatively that LCHF causes "weakness" and "brain fog". Well, yes, it does (as you've discovered) for about 3 days. And then it doesn't.

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That's great that it is working so well for you. Also i forgot to mention this and i don't know if it's important but yesterday during my "lower carb" diet i got a random hive on my arm in the evening time about an hour- 2 hours after i ate some greek yhogurt (which i've been eating for a long time) and dates/cashew nut bars which i also have been eating for a good few months. It was strange to me because i rarely ever get any hives on my arms at all and then it just so happened to happen on this low carb diet. Do you think there's any correlation between the two? I'm wondering if it's because my body became more sensitive to the foods that trigger a food intolerance or something along those lines?

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well .. as per the responses from Little_toad and BadHare , I would still find a doctor who can run tests for food intolerance/allergy. It does sound like there's more to all this than meets the eye.

The only slight problem with those tests is that IF you're constantly reacting to substances unknown, they can throw up false positives. You have to get the problem under control first before the tests give sensible results. The doctor will usually prescribe a bunch of antihistamines and/or steroids to achieve this before running the tests.

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Do you think it will be okay for me to take antihistamines? I have pollen allergy and it's started up again as well.

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Oh, I would just wait and see what the doctor prescribes. Unfortunately it sounds like you might need to find an immunologist sooner rather than later ... however if you did OK with it before, there's no harm in trying the LCHF thing while you wait for your appointment. You might get lucky and find it fixes some of your other problems. As BadHare said you do have to give these things a chance - it can take a few weeks for results to become apparent (or not, as the case may be).

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I think i'm gonna try an elimination diet since i suspect one of the main problems could be food intolerances.

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It seems to be after i eat that i feel much worse so would that mean it's a food intolerance?

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I suppose it depends how you define 'intolerance' and what you mean by 'worse'. If you get instant hives, puffy skin, etc., then sounds like an allergy.

Anyway, the elimination approach sounds like a reasonable plan. It shouldn't take more than a few months to work through the common culprits (shellfish/prawns, fish, nuts, eggs, cheese, milk, yoghurt, grain products, soy). However it would be well worth following up on Little_toad's leads: this will be a lot easier with a professional to help you out.

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I have been chatting to little_toad about finding specialists near me. Also when i say worse i mean i get irritable, skin gets oily sometimes, sinuses act up, face gets a bit puffier and my heart rate gets faster.

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Is this a gut-related issue? If so, that' why IBS "quick diagnosis" was invented, saving numerous investigations and costs.

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Hi healthiskey,

Firstly you are far from alone, before I was diagnosed with coeliac Dr's kept saying I was too healthy and it was tension and being told this actually made me tense.

What interests me is blocked sinuses can be a sign of lactose intolerance and there's a simple hydrogen breath test for that.

here's a link about what causes blocked sinuses:

sinussurvival.com/right-nos...

So good luck and its your body so you know when someone isn't right. 😊

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Try finding a functional medicine practitioner if you need support. Also adhering to a clean food gluten free diet, as I’ve suggested previously.

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I think it could be a histamine intolerance caused by a leaky gut but i'm not sure. I got a full blood test done and that came back normal. Like a year and a half ago i used to be able to get symptom free within like a month by just eating relatively healthy and exercising but now its gotten harder and harder to get rid of the symptoms.

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There is lots of information available online re leaky gut syndrome without paying anyone a penny. There's no quick fix for that as it's an issue that takes far longer to resolve than to develop, as with most lifestyle related health conditions. Positive dietary changes need to be sustained, not just for a month,

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yeah i know. i should probably stick to an anti-inflammatory diet for a while instead of switching between different diets and try to be patient. It's hard to be patient when it's been going on for years

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Changing your diet to one that's anti-inflammatory is a life long change that you may need to make. Doing it for a while won't work if you do have a food intolerance or digestive issues. It'll only work if you stick with it indefinitely.

You've mentioned your father is glutem intolerant, & auto-immune diseases can be hereditary. As I wrote previously, it would take a full 3 months to get gliadin anti-bodies out of your system, & it only takes one nibble on a sandwich to set them off again.

Tough love, but if eating properly has helped in the past, why did you stop? No matter how many doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, etc, you could see, YOU are the only person that can take charge of your diet & health, & make the changes that you need to feel better.

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I know, i really regret not sticking to the healthy plan i was on a few years ago which saved me basically. I was so frustrated for years being stuck in my house due to this illness, not wanting to do anything and then when i finally got symptom free i had this whole new lease of energy so i kept deciding to go out partying and trying to make up for lost time by going out drinking and stuff like that. It's a cycle that i kept on doing. I would get myself symptom free or close to symptom free then go and ruin it. Now it's much harder to get symptom free. I know this time i will stick to whatever i can find works for me but i'm worried it's too late now.

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It's not too late, it may just take longer to recover.

Next time you're tempted to eat or drink something that disagrees with you, try to remember how bad you'll feel & choose something beneficial, or at least neutral to your wellbeing.

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Yeah... it's hard though when you don't even know which healthy foods agree with you

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Thanks for the link. I'm going to start an elimination diet since it's likely that i have a food intolerance.

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Perhaps also look at this for some information.

thepaleomom.com/start-here/...

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Thanks for the reply. Your symptoms seem to be similar to what i could be experiencing. As you said, it's very hard to know what exact foods you can be tolerant to and what exactly is wrong without professional help. I don't know where to go for professional help. I am actually booked for an allergy test but the waiting list is verrrry long. I live in ireland so there isn't many options around where i live. There is natural healing clinics, would that be where i should be going?

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